Secure Instant Messages

TaxDome’s Secure Instant Messages feature allows you to communicate with clients in secure chat threads, where you can schedule appointments or ask for additional information. Plus, you can set up reminders, attach files, add tasks, and more—all in one place.

Covered here:

Secure Messages, Explained

Our Secure Messages feature allows you to create chat threads where you can communicate with your clients and team in real-time. The threads are neatly organized within each client’s profile, and you’ll always be able to see how many messages remain unread. Once you have what you need from a client, archive the chat to avoid clutter. If you need to revisit the chat, you’ll find it in the Archived section. 

About Secure Messages:

  • A message thread can be created by you, a team member, or a client. 
  • Inside a message thread, you can ask questions, request files, or assign tasks to a client.
  • The client receives a notification that a question is pending, and they answer directly in the message thread. 
  • When a client or another team member has responded to a message, created one, or made changes to the client tasks inside the message, you get an email and a notification in your Inbox+.
  • When a client or another team member has responded to a message or uploaded a document, and you have the thread open on your device, you will instantly see the changes.
  • Both you and the client can safely attach files to messages.
  • When you add tasks for a client, they show up in a convenient to-do list with checkboxes.
  • You can track the progress of a client’s tasks on a separate page.
  • You can set up automatic reminders for a pending message when a client doesn’t reply.
  • All messages and attached files are stored in one place and can be reviewed at any time.
  • Once you have all you need from a client in a message thread, archive it.
  • To speed things up, use message templates when sending identical messages to different clients.

Creating New Messages

A message can be created by a firm owner or any team member assigned to the account or with view all accounts access rights.

Note: You can’t send a message to a client who is offline; clients need to have an active TaxDome account, a login, and portal access to use Secure Messages.

There are three different ways to send messages: 

Send One Message to One Client

To send a message to a client, click the  + NEW button in the left sidebar menu, select Message from the slide-out, then write the text. If you give the message a title (optional), you can still change it later. 

That’s it! Click the send button. The client will automatically receive an email notification about the new message, then you and the client can begin a new thread.

Note that if you'll try to leave the  message creation page without clicking on the  send button, we will warn you. Click  Cancel  in the alert pop-up, then send your message. Please do not select  Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs  checkbox, otherwise, you will not be able to receive such alerts in the future.

Read about all messaging features in detail:

  1. Message Title: Place your subject line here, and it will be displayed in the message list. When you use a message template, it’s automatically filled in.
  2. Message: Write your message here. When using a message template, it’s automatically filled in. 
  3. Send button: Hit the button to send your message to the client. Otherwise, click the Cancel Draft button (8.).
  4. Template: Select a template for communication you regularly use. For more about templates, go here. You can select a template only when creating a new message, not when responding to one.
  5. Reminders: Select Enabled if you want a reminder email to go out to the client when they don’t respond within a certain time frame. For more about this, see below.
  6. Attach Documents: Attach files from either your computer or TaxDome. For more about this, see below.
  7. Add Task: Add checklists for your clients. For more about this, go here.

Send One Message to Several Clients

If you need to send the same message to many clients, use our bulk-messaging feature:

Go to Clients from the left sidebar menu, select the checkboxes next to the clients you want to send a message to, click on More actions in the top menu bar, then click Send Message in the pull-down. Select a message template or write a title for the message (optional), add your text, then click the SEND button. 

You can add documents and/or tasks to a thread later.

Auto-send Messages to Clients

By using our Automations feature, you can set up messages to be automatically triggered when a job moves to a new stage in a pipeline. First, you’ll need to create a message template. To learn how, go to Custom Message Templates. Once you have a template, follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings from the left sidebar menu, select Pipelines, then click on the pipeline name or the CREATE PIPELINE button.

2. In the Stages section, select the stage you want to add the automation to, click + Add automation on the far right, then select Send Message in the pull-down menu.

3. Select the template for the automation. Decide whether you want to enable Reminders; if you do, the client will get a reminder when they don’t respond to the message within a certain time frame. For more details about setting up reminders, see below.

4. Click the SAVE button to keep your changes. Once the automation is added you’ll see it by going to the pipeline page and clicking the automation icon above the stage. 

Once a job in the pipeline is moved to a new stage with a Send Message automation, a notification with the automation is displayed. If you don’t want an automatic message to be sent, deselect the automation, then click MOVE.

Setting Up Reminders

While creating a message—or while setting up a Send Message automation in a pipeline—enable the Reminders if you want an email to go out to the client when they don’t respond within a certain time frame. 

Here’s how to configure  Reminders:

  • Inactivity Threshold, Days: Remind the client about a message when they haven’t responded within x amount of days. By default, a reminder goes out to the client three days after the last message in a thread was sent. You can change the number to one you prefer. 
  • Limit to: Send up to amount of reminders. By default, one reminder email is sent, but you can change the number to one you prefer.
  • The Reminders option can be enabled or disabled at any time by going to the message thread. Reminders are always for the last message in a thread.

At the top of the Reminders section, you’ll see how many reminders about a message went out.

Reminders stop when...

  • ...the client has not responded to the message and the set number of reminders has been sent.
  • ...the client has responded to the last message in the thread. 
  • archived the message thread.
  • enabled the Reminders option.

Note: If you archive a message thread but then reopen it, the Reminders option is disabled as if the message were new. 

Attaching Files to Messages

A firm owner or any team member with access rights to manage documents can attach files to messages. When you create a message or even afterward, you can attach files either from your desktop or the Firm docs shared with client or Client uploaded documents location on TaxDome.

Click the Attach documents link, then select your preference: 

  • Attaching files from TaxDome: Select From TaxDome, then click the folder and choose the documents you want to attach, either from the Firm docs shared with client or the Client uploaded documents location (you cannot attach files from the Private location).
  • Uploading files from your computer: Select From My Computer, then click ADD DOCUMENTS and locate the files you want to upload from your desktop. For more details, go here
  • Uploading folders: Select From My Computer, click ADD FOLDER, then choose the folder. For more details about folders, go here
  • Uploading zip files: Select From My Computer, click ADD DOCUMENTS, then locate the zip you want to upload. It will automatically unpack. For more details, go here.

Files uploaded to messages are saved to the Firm docs shared with client location. 

When a client or another team member has uploaded a document, and you have the thread open on your device, you will instantly see the changes.

Adding Client Tasks to Messages

To learn about adding Tasks, go here

What Clients See When You Send Messages

Clients view and respond to a message you’ve sent by clicking the notification on their dashboard, clicking the link in the email notification, or going to the Messages section of their portal. Client tasks are also displayed inside the notifications.

If you’d like to see TaxDome from the client’s side, access a read-only view of their portal.

Responding to Client Messages

You or the team members assigned to a client will receive a notification in your Inbox+ and email whenever that client creates a new message thread, replies to an existing one, or makes changes to tasks. When a client or another team member replies to a thread, the corresponding Inbox+ notification is updated, so you’ll see only one notification per message thread. When there’s a new message in a thread, the notification is updated and moved to the top. For more about how message notifications work, go here

To view the most recent message and respond to it, click the message title or the Go to... link.

Note: You can change notification preferences whenever you need to.

You can also view and reply to a client’s messages by going to the Messages tab in their profile. Click on the eye icon to the right of the message. 

Here, you can also...

  • ...communicate with the client by typing in the message field. 
  • ...view or download client-uploaded files.
  • ...add, view, download, or delete firm-uploaded files.
  • ...add, review, or check off client tasks.

When you receive a response to a message from a client whose account includes two or more contacts with login access, you’ll always know who is responding.

  • If their email is linked to a contact, their contact name is displayed in the message thread.
  • If their email is unlinked, it is displayed in the message thread.

Seeing All Messages for One Account or Several  

To view all messages from one client, go to Clients, select the client, then open the Messages tab. All messages are stored either under the Active or Archived subtab. There’s also a Client Tasks subtab, where you can see all of the client’s tasks from their message threads. The messages in the Active subtab require additional information from the client. Messages that haven’t yet been opened are tagged NEW

In the Active and Archived subtabs of the Messages tab, you’ll see the following:

  • TITLE: the subject line.
  • PROGRESS: The first figure is the number of completed tasks; the second, the total number of tasks in the message thread.
  • DATE CREATED: when the message was written.
  • CREATOR: the person who created the message.
  • LAST RESPONSE: when the last response to the message was written and who wrote it.

By default, the message list will display 25 thread titles per page. However, you can choose to view 50, 100, or 250 at a time. To change the amount, click on the  Rows per page menu at the bottom left of the page.

To find a message, you can sort the message list by progress, date created, creator, or last response. Click the up-down arrow next to the header of the column you want to sort.

By going to the Clients section, you can find out whether a client has any unread or pending messages. Click the unread or active tag to jump to the Messages tab of the selected client account.

Seeing Which Messages Have Been Received and/or Read

Gray or green checkmarks appear next to each message you’ve sent. Here’s what they mean:

 The message was successfully sent.

 The recipient has read your message. If there are several contacts linked to the account, this indicates that at least one person has read the message.

Filter your account list to see which clients have open questions or unread messages:

  1. Go to Clients, then click on the FILTER button.
  2.  In the Messages section, select your preferred option:
  • All: all accounts with at least one message thread.
  • Active: all accounts with active message threads.
  • Unread: all accounts with unread message threads. Once any team member opens a message, the thread is not considered unread anymore.   
  • Archived: all accounts that have archived message threads.

3. Click APPLY.

Archiving and Reopening Message Threads

Once you’ve received all of the information you need from a client in a message thread, you can either archive or delete it. When you archive a message thread, you still have access to it. However, if it still has incomplete tasks, clients won’t be able to view them on their dashboard.

There are two ways to archive message threads: 

  • While viewing the message, click on ARCHIVE.
  • While viewing the message list, click the three-dots icon, click Archive, then click YES in the Archive Message Thread pop-up.

The resolved message thread is then moved from the Active to the Archived subtab.

If you have archived a message thread but later discover that you need it again, reopen it.

  1. Go to the Messages tab in the client’s profile, then open the Archived subtab.
  2. Click on the eye icon to view the message thread.
  3. Then click REOPEN.

Deleting Message Threads

Unlike archived message threads, deleted ones cannot be restored. To remove a message thread completely, follow these steps:

1. Click the three-dots icon to the far right of the thread name, then click Delete.

2. Click the DELETE button in the Delete Confirmation pop-up.

How to Link and Automove Messages in Jobs

Linking messages to jobs helps make them immediately available inside a pipeline, enhancing your workflow. Plus, you can use Automove to automatically move jobs to the next stage in a pipeline once all the client tasks inside a message thread are checked as completed. 

Messages can be linked to jobs by a firm owner or any team member who is assigned to the client account or has been given access rights to view all accounts. They are linked either manually or by adding an automation. While adding messages to a pipeline via automation involves a change in the pipeline template, manual linking allows you to track all messages within a pipeline without modifying the template.

Here’s how it works: 

1. Access the pipeline settings, add the stage for the message, then toggle on Automove Jobs. You can either add a Send Message automation (for more details, go here) or link an existing message thread manually (step 2 below).

2. To manually link a message thread, go to the pipeline, make sure that the job is in the right stage, click the job box, click + Link on the top right, select Messages, then choose the message threads. 

  • You can link any message thread previously sent to users of the account.
  • By default, only active threads are shown. To see all or only archived threads, click the Filter button, select either All or Archived option, then click the Apply button.
  • A job can have as many linked threads as needed.

Once the client or team member checks off all client tasks inside a thread as completed, the job automatically moves to the next stage. And if you move the job manually, you can always decide what needs to be done with the client tasks or linked message thread.

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